Friday, April 07, 2006

Vanderbilt Beach Road extension proposal would take 19 homes

A proposed route laid out Thursday night for an eastward extension of Vanderbilt Beach Road calls for avoiding major golf courses.

Collier County staff said the move saves potentially millions of dollars.

But the downside is some homes would have to be bought out that wouldn’t otherwise if a route slicing through The Golf Club of the Everglades and Olde Florida Golf Course were part of the extension.

The staff proposal, which was a hybrid of three finalist routes, would slice between 10th and 12th avenues northwest. It is slated to cost an estimated $150 million and involve the taking of 19 homes.

The other routes being considered would have cost in the $200 million range, according to county Transportation Planner Joe Quinty. One finalist route not chosen would have involved the taking of 49 homes. County staff weighed a variety of factors, including social, economic and environmental issues.

“This is just a planning tool,’’ Quinty told an estimated 100 Golden Gate Estates residents who turned out for the unveiling at the Golden Gate Community Center.

Another meeting is scheduled for April 10 before the Golden Gate Estates Area Civic Association.

Choosing a route has been an agonizing process, Quinty told the crowd.

“There are definitely emotional and human factors in this that are very hard to quantify,’’ he said.

The county plans to extend Vanderbilt Beach Road 10 miles eastward from Olde Florida Golf Course to DeSoto Boulevard.

Here was the route laid out Thursday night:

After Massey Street, Vanderbilt Beach Road would extend on the north side of Cypress Canal. It would then dip south of the canal after it passes the golf courses. It would then turn north and slice between 10th and 12th avenues northwest.

The county opted not to take the extension down either the north or south side of the Cypress Canal after Ninth Street Northwest.

That was a relief to Rick and Michelle Henderson, who own a home on the south side of the canal. The couple’s main concern was that the road would be extended on the north side of the canal, a stone’s throw away from their back yard.

“Either take my house, so I don’t have to look at it (the road), or go the backyard route between 10th and 12th Avenue,’’ Rick Henderson said.

Quinty noted that the route unveiled Thursday is only a recommendation and that the final decision will be up to the Collier County Commission on April 17.

“They could go with the no-build option,’’ he said referring to county commissioners.

But, he added, that would cause problems with the transportation network.

(Source: Naples Daily News 04/07/2006)

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